Serena Williams retires from Indiana Wells match

Heather Diaz
March 13, 2019

"I don't really play that often, so when I do, I need to play well", she said.

Williams, 37, had shown signs of fatigue during the first set and after it was completed she called for a trainer and following a lengthy conversation returned to the court.

Serena Williams bowed out of the Indian Wells Open due to illness, while Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina enjoyed strong wins.

Younger sister Serena, a two-time champion at Indian Wells, retired from her match on Sunday because of a viral illness.

Williams walked to the chair after the first game of the second set of her match with Muguruza and sat down, breathing heavily.

"We've played many times and it's always super-tough, super-exciting", said former world No.1 Muguruza.

Williams started the match well against Muguruza and lead 3-0.

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Williams was playing in her first tournament since the Australian Open in late January.

"By the score, it might have looked like I started well, but I was not feeling at all well physically", Williams said in comments distributed by tournament officials. As long as Venus has her return working and is spraying winners, you can live with an inconsistent serve and a higher number of break points.

She retired after losing the first game.

For her part, Muguruza says that she took no pleasure from her unconventional victory against one of the sport's all-time greats.

After a first-round bye in Indian Wells, she beat Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-3 on Friday night.

Halep next faces 61st-ranked Czech Marketa Vondrousova, who followed up her win over 2018 finalist Daria Kasatkina with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over 22nd seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia. The next was the 2016 French final, where Murguruza won 7-5, 6-4.

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